Hoover Dam reservoir hits record low water level amid extreme drought | CBC News
Jun 10, 2021 1 min, 43 secs
The reservoir created by Hoover Dam, an engineering marvel that symbolized the American ascendance of the 20th Century, has sunk to its lowest level ever, underscoring the gravity of the extreme drought across the U.S.

It is crucial to the water supply of 25 million people including in the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas.

The drought that has brought Lake Mead low has gripped California, the Pacific Northwest, the Great Basin spanning Nevada, Oregon and Utah, plus the southwestern states of Arizona and New Mexico and even part of the Northern Plains.

Bureau of Reclamation, which manages water resources in the Western states.

"Some states, especially parts of California and parts of the southwest, it's really quite extreme drought conditions," said Ben Cook, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The Bureau of Reclamation is likely to declare Lake Mead's most extreme shortage condition for the first time ever, which would cut water supplies to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico, spokesperson Patti Aaron said.

That is a year's supply for nearly one million households, according to the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, facing a recall election, has issued a drought emergency proclamation for 41 of the state's 58 counties, empowering the state to take greater control over water resources.

But he has so far stopped short of measures taken by his predecessor Jerry Brown in 2015, when California ordered mandatory water use reductions that affected voters.

The Regional Water Authority, which represents water providers serving two million people in the Sacramento area, is recommending providers drill more wells for now, a short-term solution, and is asking customers to voluntarily reduce consumption by 10 per cent.

Jay Lund, a professor at the University of California Davis and director of its Center for Watershed Sciences, warned some of the more dire predictions were hyperbolic, saying Californians generally comply with mandatory and voluntary reductions in water usage, enabling the state to survive until the rains come again.

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